The December Exchequer returns have now been published. The Exchequer deficit for 2009 was €24.6 billion, almost twice the level recorded in 2008. That said, the figures came in a bit better than most people expected a number of months ago, which is good news.
As an aside, I’d note that this outcome clearly falls somewhat short of the “close to €30 billion” deficit mentioned in the letter signed by the 46 economists in August. As I noted at the time, I think this was pretty reasonable in the context of what was known then. Of course, this figure was not an important part of the letter. The substance of the letter related to NAMA and the only point of the deficit references, as I understood it, was to put the risk of NAMA losses in a context.
I have little doubt now that the comments section here will soon contain denunciations of the famed “46” declaring them to be all sorts of evil. But then flame-throwing trolls are an unfortunate part of any blog that allows comments.